Music Icon Martin Perlich, Buy Counter Enigma, Friend

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 9, 2014 10:46am | Post a Comment

...or, How The Amoeba Buy Counter
Made Martin Perlich And Me Life-Changing Friends.

Here at The Choice Bin, I've been a fan of Martin Perlich's ever since I discovered him on the radio in the early 2000s. An immediate hit, I remember making the station a preset on my car radio. He was THE MAN when it came to the best musical programming in L.A. at the time for me and it was every weekday!! Avant Garde, progressive Rock and Pop mixed with gorgeous Classical, World, and Folk music in regular rotation! And his raps between tracks always drew me closer to the speakers. His distinguished broadcasting career spans almost fifty years. He rocked as a producer of ''The Midnight Special''. He pioneered experimental radio in Cleveland (Classical Radio as well as Rock Jock on WMMS in Cleveland) and KMET in Los Angeles (now KTWV); classical host on KFAC, KUSC, and KMZRT. He practically invented the "eclectic" format of mixing genres one after the other, fitting in perfectly in the early 1960's. As a radio guy, I was excited about what he would play next. His interviews with music legends are the stuff of legend, and available here!

So, I was at the buy counter at Amoeba Hollywood one day (where folks trade in their old CDs and records). "I know that voice," I thought, as this cool fellow laid out his used CDs. Of course we chatted, and when fate would put us together for a few more minutes, it was apparent to me that that not only would we be fast friends, but broadcasting was only a part of Martin's life.

Martin Perlich 1964

Martin puts it like this:

"...Rick Frystak and I met the best way: through music. When our beautiful little public radio station (KCSN, 'Best of L.A. 2006') fell victim to bureaucratic shuffleboard and I was 'retired' as Program Director, I scooped up my personal CDs from my station office and hightailed it down to the only record store in LA (you know who you are!). At the Amoeba 'Buy Counter' I found an unusually discerning (i.e. fan of my Programming) gentleman with long hair and fell into a colloquy known only to denizens of the belly of the Record Business."

"Rick and I began a series of breakfasts at The Waffle on Sunset east of the store and the fateful series of oatmeals and fresh fruit was begun. We became friends - good friends as music lovers are won't to become.  And one night under the Frystak roof I was induced to read some of my new (2013) poems. Although I had written exactly one previous poem - in 1987- I complied. To my shock and delight Rick found the Poetry not unacceptable. But when he suggested I publish them I retreated to the Disbelief/Insecurity corner."

Martin & Randy Newman 1985

"Undaunted, Rick persisted. And persisted. 'He must be serious,' I told myself. As it turned out Rick was so serious he pushed and pushed. As a novice poet (I'd published novels and a How-To book) I was still wary. But Rick was all heart and glowing enthusiasm: when my energy flagged, he popped up with renewed enthusiasm and good implementable ideas."

"So was this humble project born. My contribution least of all; mostly Maestro Frystak: Creator / Editor / Publisher / Designer / Master of the Conversion of Love to Product! Hear! Hear!..."

So if you like poetry of any species, get into Martin's world and email Martin for the FREE eBook (.pdf)! Highly recommended!

Martin interviewing Peter Max 1971

Martin Perlich has just released a brand new eBook of recent poetry,
Download the eBook (.pdf)

Contact Martin at [email protected]

Art as the Science of the Soul is Martin Perlich’s first published poetry, published by Empty Books, Los Angeles (Rick Frystak, who also contributed design).  An admired novelist he is currently finishing his long-awaited tetralogy, the Adequacy Quartet.

The author of The Art of the Interview, his daily feature Martin Perlich Interviews was twice honored by the New York International Radio Exposition. The shows were syndicated nationally and purchased by the UCLA Performing Arts Library, where they are now available on the UCLA  Digital Network. In 2000, Perlich became Program Director as well as afternoon host at groundbreaking KCSN-FM named “Best of L.A., 2006”, by LA Magazine). The station featured the most varied and excellent music from Gothic to Avant-garde. Perlich’s afternoon show also featured live interviews with leading artists: Tom Waits, Frank Zappa,Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Alfred Brendel, Anna Netrebko, and hundreds more.

Martin  interveiwing Leonard Bernstein, 1964

Perlich’s documentary Citizen Artist is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. He has also worked both in network TV, as Creative Consultant on The Midnight Special the late night music show on NBC-TV. He developed music series, including Singer/Songwriter with Randy Newman, Stephen Stills and others, with Lions Gate Films, and documentaries with KCET in LA and WNET in New York. In the 1980s he developed the feature film The Trial of Ramona Africa starring Whoopi Goldberg for PBS / American Playhouse and Film 4 in London.

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